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Annika Strandhäll, the Swedish minister for health and social affairs, learning about the ‘Finnish Schools on the Move’ program with Prince Daniel of Sweden at the Drumsö lågstadieskola in Helsinki on April 25, 2018. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The Swedish elementary school, Drumsö lågstadieskola, received a royal guest on Wednesday morning.

Prince Daniel of Sweden arrived to study the Finnish government’s national program, Finnish Schools on the Move, that aims to increase physical activity among the children.

It was a misty morning, and the children were waiting in the schoolyard, warming up for their day while waving Finnish flags and performing occasional bows. They were smiling a lot and, any gloominess among the hard-boiled reporters was swept away from such cheerful energy.

“They have been practicing this for a week,” said a teacher that was smiling next to them.

The students are nervous to meet the prince. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Prince Daniel arrived with the Swedish Minister for Health and Social Affairs Annika Strandhäll. His delegation was quite big. The official umbrella holders were ready to cover the prince if any raindrops would start falling, but there weren’t any. Others were carrying briefcases, trying to look as important as the prince.

Prince Daniel and Minister Strandhäll visited classrooms, where the children were told to continue the day as usual, and there was such a crowd around him that it was hard to see what the prince and the minister were doing there.

Judging from the stomps, giggles and claps, the children for sure weren’t sitting. And that’s exactly the point.

Filming and editing: Tony Öhberg

Finnish Schools on the Move programme started with a pilot phase (2010-2012). In May 2017, more than 90 percent of municipalities and 80 percent of comprehensive schools (2, 000 schools) are involved in the program.

The goal of the government is that the Schools on the Move project will be expanded across the country to ensure one hour of physical activity each day.

The Swedish guests appeared impressed for sure.